I love coated chicken okay I love anything chicken. These past few months I have been a frequent (once a month) buyer of KFC, imagine and the way their chicken is so greasy. In my hopes of trying to be a bit healthy I decided to make my own version of fried chicken without the actual frying hence oven fried chicken. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Not only was the chicken tender and moist it was also crunchy and not to mention a little bit healthier than the fried version.
The secret to this is, overnight marination. I cannot stress enough the need to marinate the chicken overnight. The simple marinade helps keep the chicken tender and also adds flavour of the chicken.
The marinade is generally based on buttermilk or mala, which makes the chicken tender and moist. Then spices are added to the mala to lend flavour to the chicken. Here you are free to add just about any spice that tickles your fancy, from cayenne pepper to paprika and not forgetting salt and black pepper for seasoning. You can also add grated garlic.
I made a simple marinade of mala, paprika, black pepper and salt.
Stir the mixture and you can even give it a little taste to ensure the flavours are well balanced.
NOTE: Only taste the marinade before adding the chicken, once the raw chicken is added don’t even think of tasting it.
Another thing, you can opt to skin your chicken pieces if you are feeling extra health conscious or put them with the skin on. I live life on the fast lane so I put my chicken thighs with the skin on.
Ensure the chicken is completely covered in the marinade. Cover the bowl with some cling film and let the chicken marinate in the fridge overnight or at least 12 hours for best results. The chicken MUST marinate in the fridge. It’s best to make this at night for dinner the following day or marinate it in the morning to cook it in the evening.
After marinating overnight, we are ready to make the chicken.
To make the chicken extra crunchy on the outside I opted for corn flakes instead of bread crumbs.
Using my spice mill I roughly crushed the corn flakes, then seasoned them with paprika, salt and black pepper.
Take one chicken thigh from the marinade and let the excess marinade drip and then coat the chicken with the corn flakes.
Place the coated chicken on a wire rack and repeat the coating procedure for all your chicken thighs.
Now bake the chicken at 400°F (205°C) for 35 minutes then flip and finish off the baking for another 15 minutes. Ideally if you have some non stick cooking oil you can spray it on the chicken before baking but it’s not necessary. I didn’t have any and the chicken still turned out great.
I preferred to use the wire rack to ensure circulation of heat and that the chicken turns out crunchy on all sides, however if you don’t have a wire rack you can bake the chicken on a lightly greased tray.
Also it’s ideal to place an oven tray under the wire rack with the chicken to catch any drippings to avoid a messy oven.
I absolutely loved the chicken, to be honest I even preferred it to KFC, yeah I said it. The chicken was tender and flavourful on the inside thanks to the marinade and the outside was crunchy. Considering I didn’t use any oil in my cooking, the chicken had some grease especially under the skin.
My husband liked the chicken but he felt that it could be better, yeah he is a serious food critic these days 🙂 , anyway I dare you to try this recipe and be the judge for yourself.
This recipe is a welcome substitute to a loved fast food and it is healthier so all the more reason to make it.
Spicy and crunchy oven fried chicken!